Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pa Clubs and Nudity

I received comments concerning my webpage, Pennsylvania Drinking Laws, from a reader who brought to my attention an error on my part with respect to nudity in licensed establishments. I was aware that establishments in Pennsylvania that have a liquor license were prohibited from having nudity within the place. What I was unaware of that this prohibition has been rescinded.

The US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals struck down (in 2006) Pennsylvania’s law on lewd behavior in licensed establishments. It did uphold New Jersey’s law on lewdness. The rulings were based on interpretations on the First Amendment of the US Constitution. In Pennsylvania, clubs (not bars) can permit nude dancing. As a club, they are private and everyone entering must be a member (40 Pa Code 5.72). Bars are open to the public. Clubs may allow dancing whereas bars have restrictions disallowing entertainment such as dancing. These are two clauses that distinguish a club from a bar.

So, in as much as a club can serve alcohol and have nude dancing, don’t look for an influx of booze and babes clubs to open soon. There are several reasons it is to a clubs advantage to not have a liquor license. Having another government bureaucracy control their activity seems like a good reason not to have a license.

In doing a bit more research on this I stumbled on Title 17 of the Pennsylvania Code. Apparently the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has something to say about booze and babes. Somehow my mind is working with the combination of nude dancing and natural resources, but let’s not take this further.

Section 23.12 prohibits possession and consumption of alcohol on state forest picnic areas. Disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, and obscene or lewd acts or dress is prohibited in section 23.24.

I will be updating my page ( soon but I wanted to get this posted to address my reader’s comments. He also gave me some other feedback that I am reviewing for my update. I always enjoy positive feedback as it helps get the information corrected.